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Harrisburg woman makes film about her pedophile grandfather and the impact on her family and others

Amanda Mustard's Great Photo, Lovely Life is on HBO MAX

  • Scott LaMar

Airdate: December 21st, 2023


Harrisburg photo/journalist’ Amanda Mustard’s grandfather was a pedophile. Chiropractor Dr. William Flickinger preyed on young girls, including his daughter and granddaughter – Amanda’s sister.

Mustard has made a critically acclaimed documentary called Great Photo, Lovely Life, that can be described as compelling, one-of-a-kind and hard to watch at the same time.

In the film, Mustard confronts her grandfather and explores a complicated family dynamic. Her grandfather shows little or no contrition for his actions and says he will be forgiven by God.

Appearing on The Spark Thursday, Mustard talked about why she made the documentary,”I feel like I almost didn’t have a choice because the more that I learned about the kind of pain and damage that my grandfather caused, I really didn’t want to continue the silence. So as hard as this has been — it took over eight years — I just felt like I couldn’t put it down because I just wanted to do better moving forward with my generation.”

Watch the trailer here.

Amanda Mustard and her mother sorting letters to be sent to potential victims of her grandfather’s sexual abuse

In the film, Mustard and her mother confronted Flickinger calmly rather than with anger. He answers matter of factly, shows little remorse and says that over the years, little girls kind of threw themselves at him and they liked it (the sexual abuse),”I don’t think that he was particularly interested in in offering an apology. And also he was never really given a reason in his life to he didn’t face many consequences. He didn’t really have a reason to feel particularly bad about it. But I do think that’s why I’m led to think that there was some psychopathy at play where he’s just kind of there’s some there’s some screws loose for sure.”

Mustard added,”I think he’s again very warped, very, very warped. You’re going down there in this kind of quote unquote confrontation. I was approaching this with two hats. I’m a family member that was raised to normalize this. And this film has been a process of me normalizing myself to this, because that’s unfortunately the nature of these things. And also, you know, I do have journalistic training and I was approaching him with that. So, I kind of did my best Louis Theroux impression and approached with curiosity. I knew him well enough that anger and screaming and yelling wasn’t going to get any anywhere, it wasn’t going to get me any answers that I wanted. Approaching him the way that I did is why he was so open. So, yeah, it can it’s jarring, I think, for people who have not been in the situation and know how kind of complex and uncomfortable and contradictory generational trauma is and having a perpetrator in your family.”

Great Photo, Lovely Life will be screened at Midtown Cinema in Harrisburg Sunday afternoon at 1:30 and Tuesday night at 7:30. It also is on HBO Max this month.

Locations to find free help in Pennsylvania for survivors of sexual abuse, sexual assault, and other types of trauma.



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